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MANILA, Philippines - Al-Qaida's Southeast Asian ally is sharing bomb-making expertise with Muslim militants in the Philippines, providing at least nine explosive designs and eight chemical recipes to help ragtag insurgents become more lethal, according to government reports.
The results: 116 people killed in the country's worst terror attack, a series of high-tech explosions and close cooperation among local and foreign militants using the southern Philippines as a training ground following the loss of al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan.
While U.S.-backed offensives have overrun established camps in the Mindanao region in the last couple of years, training by al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah's Indonesian operatives has continued on a limited basis with militants setting up classes and plotting attacks, police and military intelligence officers told The Associated Press.
One Philippine security official said Mindanao in the southern part of the country "is like a terrorist academy" with trainees taught how to make bombs, plant them, then set them off in test missions designed to help militants perfect their techniques to complete the course.